Looking for things to see and do in Glenbeigh? Here’s our selection of the very best there is on offer.
A long, wide spit of sand jutting off the Iveragh Peninsula, Rossbeigh Strand is such a perfect place to ride horses that it’s home to the annual Glenbeigh Racing Festival every August. You don’t have to be a pro to enjoy a walk, trot or canter on the beach though thanks to Burke’s Beach Riding, a family-run company that offers riding tours from one-hour long to full-day excursions. Head through shaded woods, venture through surrounding dunes and ‘paddle’ with your horse at the water’s edge on one of their excellent excursions.
The seas that lap the Reeks District’s shores are home to some of the finest shellfish in Europe – and Glenbeigh Shellfish is the place to go if you want to pick some up to cook yourself. The family-run business specialises in Cromane mussels, native flat oysters, periwinkles and cockles, as well as pacific oysters – and the produce is so good, they supply many of the Reeks’ high-end restaurants. Pop into their shop in Glenbeigh, attend one of their oyster tasting evenings, or catch them at Glenbeigh Summer Market between June and August.
Rossbeigh Strand has long been the home of the wreck of the Sunbeam, a 19th-century wooden schooner built in Exmouth in the UK in 1860 and which came aground here in 1903. The wooden dowels and pegs that once held the ship together can usually be seen peeking above the sand, but over the last few years storms have both exposed it and re-covered it. As such, it sadly seems like the Sunbeam may not be together much longer as the climate continues to challenge its integrity. See if you can find it while you can.
Ireland is, of course, famed for its fabulous golf courses, and Dooks is one of the country’s oldest links offerings. Set by Dooks Beach with magnificent views over Dingle Bay towards the Atlantic, the club is member owned which means there is always a warm welcome for golfers from elsewhere. The challenging 18-hole course is a real beauty, set in gorse, heather and wild flowers and tended to by Micheál Shanahan who has worked in the past at both Gleneagles and St Andrews.
Step back to 19th-century Ireland with a visit to Kerry Bog Village. This unique visitor attraction offers a glimpse into what life was like for the people of Ireland through the famine years and into the late 19th century. See authentic period thatched cottages with original antiques, sound effects and figurines, take in original farming tools from the era, and meet Kerry Bog Ponies (above) – a rare breed of mountain pony, possibly descended from the Irish Hobby Horse, and saved from extinction by the owners of the village.
Ssshhh…. You might disturb them. Glenbeigh is home to its very own Fairy Loop, a 3km circular walk through woods just outside the town that are said to be the home of magical little people. After passing through the enchanting entrance way, the path is lined with colourful little fairy houses. Younger visitors don’t have to complete the whole 3km loop as shorter path options are available.
Sitting at an elevated position overlooking Rossbeigh Strand, the Rosspoint Bar & Restaurant is a relaxed pub and diner offering a really warm welcome. Tuck into traditional favourites such as fish and chips, local lamb shank or fresh scampi and wash it all down with a pint of Guinness while gazing out to the Atlantic and beyond.
Set right in the centre of Glenbeigh, The Towers has been in operation since 1895 – and over the past 100 years has played host to many a celebrity including Charlie Chaplin, Omar Shariff and Charles de Gaule. It offers three different room types – standard, superior and deluxe – as well as a bar and two restaurants. The Loft offers bar-style meals in a relaxed atmosphere, while The Curra provides fine dining including locally sourced ingredients such as meat from Kerry farms and seafood from Dingle Bay.
Dating back to 1792, The Glenbeigh Hotel is a historic coaching inn offering 12 light and airy rooms, plus a bar/restaurant area that serves food good enough to have been deemed Best Gastrobar in Kerry at the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards. Head chef Noel Dennehy is Michelin trained and brings with him a wealth of expertise to the Glenbeigh’s dining offer.
For those who prefer life under canvas or sleeping in their own caravan home-from-home, Glenross Campsite is right in the heart of town. Open from April to October and a former national award winner, it offers 40 camping pitches as well as mobile homes for rent. Facilities include free Wi-Fi, a kids’ game room, toilets/showers, a dining area with fridge/freezer, and bicycle hire.
Read more stories on our Notes from the Reeks blog